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Jun 27, 2013 02:39 PM

Most useless cooking instruction

As________ as possible or as _______ as you can. Think I just f'd up a jar of sauerkraut by falling into that even though I know better.

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    1. re: girloftheworld

      not always, but often enough. (ever heated up some Lean Pockets? super stupid silly removal and replacement instructions.

      1. re: girloftheworld

        particularly when said packaging is clearly made of flimsy plastic. Duhhhhhhh.

        1. re: girloftheworld

          I bet all those who have roasted a turkey or chicken and found the neck and giblet package after cooking would have preferred if they read and followed that information first....

          1. re: fourunder

            I don't think that falls under "remove from packaging" since the goody bag inside the bird isn't really packaging.

            1. re: Musie

              sure it is -- it's paper/plastic...but you still need to know to look for it.

              It does beat the farm-raised turkey I bought a few years ago -- I peeked into the cavity and said "Oh, good, the giblets are all there for gravy" -- reached into the cavity ad found that the giblets were still attached....

            2. re: fourunder

              It won't kill anyone, as I can attest from experience. (on the West Coast the package is a type of paper that can survive oven temps)

              1. re: fourunder

                I was not there for the occasion but my SIL had the family over for Tgiving and found the giblet package after the turkey was carved and served. It is till good for a laugh, many years later.

              2. re: girloftheworld


                I had a friend in high school that married on graduation and was keen to cook meals for her new husband. She invited a few of his university friends over for dinner and had boiled hot dogs in their packaging. Needless to say, the package exploded and I'm sure, years later, whomever lives at that townhouse is still picking hot dog shrapnel out of the nooks and crannies of that kitchen!

                1. re: girloftheworld

                  The Hershey website has a recipe for York Peppermint brownies. (They are killer! If you make them, don't blame me for your lack of control around the pan as it cools and your, "Just one taste." becomes half a pan missing.)

                  I digress- the recipe tells you to "unwrap" the 24 patties before covering them with brownie batter and baking.

                  1. re: hambone

                    Probably for legal reasons! Not everyone is as brilliant as you and I.

                  2. re: girloftheworld

                    This is not about cooking instructions, but about "remove from packaging"...

                    I once managed a fermentation factory which had a 5000 gallon agitated tank that we'd charge with sugar that came in 50-lb bags -- packaged in brown paper bags with plastic liners. On one occasion, a new operator charged several thousand lbs of sugar into the tank by slitting open the paper bags and tossing in the contents -- not realizing that there were plastic liners inside the paper bags. So we ended up with 5000 gallons of concentrated sugar solution with hundreds of plastic bags, some tangled around the agitator, some clogging the discharge line, some floating on the surface... Not fun. Needless to say, production was down that day.

                          1. re: tacosandbeer

                            Though, I'm a fan of Fuschia Dunlop's instruction of cook until it smells delicious. Right on for stirfrying ginger, etc.

                          2. Season to taste - If you don't know to taste your dish and make adjustments prior to serving, shame on you.

                            17 Replies
                            1. re: mike0989

                              They make sense but they impart no useful information.

                              1. re: mike0989

                                Eggs-Ackley. Most people have no taste. And no idea how to season.

                                    1. re: mwhitmore

                                      What's the view like from up there on your ivory tower?

                                      1. re: mwhitmore

                                        Who are the "they" you are talking about. I am confused?

                                        1. re: foodieX2

                                          "They" are the people who are not snobs. :P

                                  1. re: mike0989

                                    When I was a working professional who attended organization meeting dinners, sitting at a round table with 7 other people, and watching some diners adding salt to their entree before tasting it.

                                    1. re: ChiliDude

                                      UGH! I hate that. I'm fine with them pouring the entire salt shaker on their food - but ONLY if they taste it first!

                                    2. re: mike0989

                                      Season to taste when we're dealing with raw ingredients. WTF???

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        Yup. Irritates me silly. This dish has raw ground pork and I add the salt to the raw meat "to taste".

                                        1. re: sandylc

                                          oh don't be so shy...

                                          julie - I do taste the fresh unused marinade and imagine, hmm I have an idea how the meat is supposed to taste untreated and ask 'will this enhance or detract?' after it's been added to the meat I hover and sniff.

                                          or sometimes I have tasted a small sliver - not dead yet!

                                        2. re: c oliver

                                          I'm actually making a marinade on Monday night that says that in the instructions... not really sure how you can season a marinade to taste.

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            My mother in law has no fear. And a fantastic immune system, I think. She'll taste everything for seasoning including the curry that she's just added raw fish/chicken/beef to. She really doesn't understand why I decline.

                                          2. re: mike0989

                                            Would you prefer to have a recipe say add 2 tablespoons, rather than season to taste?

                                            1. re: fourunder

                                              Yes. Or a range: 1&3/4 to 2&1/4. Or "At least 2T". There is not an infinite range of correct seasoning. And if you are writing a recipe you have an obligation to determine how much that is. Just as with less important ingredients.

                                          3. Season to taste and cook until done make sense even if they are somewhat obvious.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: kengk

                                              They make sense but impart no useful information--hence not helpful.

                                              1. re: sueatmo

                                                I agree that taken on their own, those instructions sound ridiculous. However, in the context of a recipe, it tells me at what point I should season and takes away any uncertainty as to whether I should par-cook or not. It's also left vague enough where I don't feel compelled to cook ingredients to a certain level of doneness, fearing that I'll compromise the flavor of the dish if I don't cook to the specified doneness.

                                                Seems like a no-brainer for experienced cooks, but you'd be surprised what assumptions new cooks make or what simple things (like seasoning) they forget when trying to follow a recipe.

                                                1. re: soypower

                                                  I kind of like the season to taste sometimes too. Granted, most people probably know to do this, but it also lets the cook know that perhaps the dish might not have enough seasoning...

                                                  1. re: jbsiegel

                                                    Yep - and even then, people can miss the prompt!

                                                    It drives me nuts to see a review of a recipe complaining that it was too bland / flavorless, and in the instructions it clearly states: season to taste.

                                                    Of course, there are other factors at play too, but often it is simply underseasoning.

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